Liquor Smuggling Thrives in Bihar as Nitish Scrambles to Get Control of the Situation

Liquor smugglers arrested on Saturday. Huge consignment of alcohol seized.

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Patna: The state police in Bihar seized huge consignment of foreign and Indian liquor from Patna, Muzaffarpur, Jamui, West Champaran, and Bhojpur districts on Saturday and arrested four men involved in smuggling alcohol from Haryana and Jharkhand.

Officials said police seized 550 cartons of foreign liquor estimated to have a street value in excess of Rs. 1 crore.

Interestingly, the arrest came the same day when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was holding a high-level meeting with top Excise officials to review prohibition in Bihar as news of smuggling of liquor from non-prohibition states continues to pour in suggesting the underground market for alcohol in Bihar was alive and kicking.

Nitish holding meeting on prohibition in Patna on Saturday.

Kumar, in the presence of Excise and Prohibition Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, District Magistrates (DMs), Superintendents of Police (SPs), and other senior officials, directed them to destroy all seized liquors that are locked in various warehouses and police stations across the state by no later than September 30.

Apprehending corruption within the police department that has been accused by many of being part of the alcohol mafia in Bihar, Kumar ordered destruction of all seized consignments in future within 15 days to avoid them being stolen and circulated back in the black market.

The Chief Minister, in a further attempt to tighten screw on violation of prohibition laws in the state, asked the Director General of Police (DGP), Principal Secretary (Excise), Additional DG (Economic Offence unit), and IG (Prohibition) to hold monthly meetings to review the effectiveness of the excise laws and take necessary actions to close any loophole in the system.

Kumar also directed officials to step up vigilance in the rivers that are increasingly being used by bootleggers to smuggle liquor into Bihar from other states.


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